SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Top prospect Luis Mendoza will start for the Kansas City Royals in their spring training opener on Sunday against the Texas Rangers.
Mendoza led the Pacific Coast League with a 2.18 ERA last year. He is scheduled to work two innings, while right-handers Sean O'Sullivan, Vin Mazzaro and Nate Adcock are also scheduled to pitch.
Manager Ned Yost said left-handers Bruce Chen, who led the staff with 12 victories, and Mike Montgomery will pitch Monday against the Rangers. Luke Hochevar, the first player picked in the 2006 draft, is scheduled to work two innings of a split-squad game Tuesday against San Diego. Left-hander Will Smith will start the other game that day against Cleveland.
Felipe Paulino, who is a candidate for the rotation after making 20 starts last season, has been setback by hamstring tightness and will be held out of the early games and intrasquad games Thursday and Friday.